I was born in Silicon Valley when it was known as the Santa Clara Valley, or, more poetically, the Valley of Heart’s Delight, because it was a lovely, bucolic place known for its orchards and sleepy small towns. Which means if you have any mathematical ability at all, you can figure out that I’m older than I act.
I had a boringly happy childhood in a middle-class suburban family with my parents, who recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, and my younger brother. My mother instilled in me a love of reading, and I branched out from there into writing, although it took me a while to get serious about it.
The first thing I remember writing, when I was about 7 years old, was a story about a family whose Christmas tree went missing. That was followed by a few plays coauthored with my best friend, Lynn Davis, and performed in her garage to a captive audience of intimidated younger kids. The plays were mostly outer space/cowboy stories—don’t ask. In junior high it was gothic romance thrillers, and high school was given over to bad poetry about the varsity basketball team.
I graduated from James Monroe High School in Sepulveda, CA, and went on to a checkered college career encompassing many schools and numerous changes of major. When I graduated with a degree in journalism from Georgia State University, I immediately began to drift from one job to another—journalist, substitute teacher, public relations specialist for the phone company and a public television station, advertising copywriter, airline computer instructor, and travel agent.
Then, fortuitously, I landed at the McGraw Street Bakery in Seattle, WA, where I fell in love with the rhythms of baking. From that experience cameBread Alone, published in the U.S. in 2001. Isabel's Daughter (June 2003) grew out of my love for and fascination with the Southwest. The Baker's Apprentice (April 2005) is a sequel to Bread Alone, and my new book, The Laws of Harmony is due out in February 2009.
Because I was raised to be modest, I’m too shy to say, “My novels have been translated into 11 languages and distributed in more than 15 countries worldwide.” So I let my husband, Geoff, type that part in.
We now live in Santa Fe, NM, with Blue, who is half corgi, half blue heeler, all comedian. When I’m not laughing at her, I’m baking bread or working on my fifth book.
Judith Ryan Hendricks